There’s a lot of truth to the old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
Meeting the right people and having them like you can get you a job, further your career, or earn you a once-in-a lifetime deal. It’s also how you make new friends. People can sing “I Am a Rock” all they want, but human beings are social animals and a good friend is valuable. Whether you want to network or just make new friends, it’s important to know how to make a good impression on people you’re meeting for the first time. While there’s no “one right way to do it,” here are some tips that can help you get things off on the right foot.
1) First Contact: People tend to be a bit subdued, talk less than normal, and are often a little cautious when they meet another person for the first time. That’s a natural thing and you have to adjust to it.
In order to do that, you may need to tweak how you talk and behave just a bit. Your energy level will probably need to be just a little higher than the person you’re meeting. You don’t want to do the full Tony Robbins and blow the person away, but if both of you are quiet and have a low energy level, you probably just won’t click. Again, because the person may be a bit constrained, you’ll probably need to talk a little more than normal. That doesn’t mean you need to dominate the discussion, but you usually have to do a little extra work to coax someone into talking. Additionally, there is a time and place to ask people what they do for a living and talk about the weather, but the first five minutes of conversation is not it. Those are boring conversational space fillers and bringing them up right off the bat gives people the impression that you’re dull.